August 21, 2006

“Pirates” and “Snakes” drive foreign box office

By Hy Hollinger

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - As the waning days of
summer dampen business at the foreign box office, "Pirates of
the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" -- lacking any new competition
-- led the field for a seventh weekend in a row.

At the same time, some of the early summer tentpoles that
avoided World Cup rivalry in the June-July period are picking
up business from key territories, while medium-range entries
are getting mixed welcomes. Pleasant weather, especially in
Europe, contributed to a general box office decline.

Domestic champ "Snakes on a Plane," in a day-and-date
opening with the U.S., hit the top in the U.K., with $2
million. Openings in such markets as Israel, Iceland, Thailand,
Venezuela and Puerto Rico amounted to $600,000.

But "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" did not
fare as well after its North American bow, entering Spain at
No. 6 spot with a disappointing $315,000, not helped by the 18
rating the Will Ferrell film received from local censors.

"Dead Man's Chest's" international gross moved up to $521.6
million as it picked up $25 million from 51 markets. The
worldwide total has reached $922.8 million, rated as the
sixth-highest-grossing film ever.

The pirate tale, which opens in Greece this coming weekend
and in Italy on September 13, has collected $37.8 million from
France in three weekends, $24.9 million from Spain in two,
$51.7 million from Germany in four, $68.2 million from Japan in
five and $88.9 million from the U.K. in seven.

"Miami Vice," supported by 10 openings, including France
and Korea, tallied $11.5 million from 28 markets to lift its
international total to $35.5 million. In France ($4.5 million)
it arrived second to "Pirates," and in Korea ($1.7 million) it
came in No. 5, topped by three local films and "Monster House."
It held the No. 1 spot in Australia for a second session with a
market total of $3.4 million.

"Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" underlined that there's
still a big contingent of family-film fans out there by pulling
in $10.6 million from 34 countries. It was welcomed at No. 1 in
Italy ($1.7 million), Russia ($2.1 million) and Turkey


"Superman Returns," which avoided some European dates
during the World Cup, could do no better than No. 3 as it
entered Germany ($1.9 million), finishing behind the second
weekend of "The Break-Up" and the fourth weekend of "Dead Man's
Chest." But it came in at No. 1 in Japan ($3.2 million), barely
topping the fourth weekend of local megahit "Tales From
Earthsea" and the fifth weekend of "Dead Man's Chest." Key
market totals include the U.K. ($28.4 million), Mexico ($15.1
million), France ($11.3 million), Spain ($11.6 million) and
Brazil ($8.6 million). The international total is $166 million.

"Monster House" picked up $4.5 million from 15 countries to
bring its total to $20.4 million. Second-weekend totals came to
$5.8 million in the U.K., $5.7 million in Mexico and $6.1
million in Korea.

The Adam Sandler comedy "Click" opened at No. 1 in Mexico
($1.7 million) and regained first place in Taiwan for a market
take of $1.5 million after three weekends. The film's overall
weekend tally came to $4.2 million from 23 markets for a total
to date of $26.8 million.

"Cars " -- with Italy, China, Norway and Finland on tap
this coming weekend -- geared up to $145.3 million after a $3.4
million weekend from 29 markets. So far, eight weeks in Japan
has delivered $18.2 million, with 10 in Australia accounting
for $13.1 million and seven in Mexico for $12.7 million.

The Jennifer Aniston-Vince Vaughn romantic comedy "The
Break-Up" reached a neat $61.1 international gross following a
$3.9 million weekend from 34 markets, while the comedy romance
"John Tucker Must Die" eased into the U.K. in fifth place with
$1.6 million.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter